Whitman Forensics Newsletter

Vol. 8, No. 2, May, 2002



Charles and Thad hold the trophy they received for being ranked the number five team in the nation.

Charles and Thad win big nationally

Can debaters from a small college like Whitman defeat those from large schools such as Northwestern or Emory?  The answer is "yes."  Setting a team record, juniors Charles and Thad were ranked fifth in the nation by the NDT and brought home the quarterfinalist award from the tournament.  This is an amazing accomplishment for a team from a small school and we are very proud of them.

Thad and Charles' success began early in the year when they defeated Gonzaga to win the first tournament of the year, something they would do four more times this season.  One of their most prestigious national awards came in the second semester when they received the second place trophy at the 140 team Northwestern tournament.  These were two of many tournaments that the NDT took into consideration when compiling their overall rankings.  The success did not end at the NDT, however.  Two weeks later, Charles and Thad took third at the CEDA national tournament, dropping in a split decision to Fort Hayes.

Brian W, Dani, Nicholas, Natalie, Samantha, and Chandra smile for the camera. The team had much to smile about this year.

What comes next for this dynamic duo?  Thad and Charles both have another year of debating ahead of them and they are hoping for an even more successful senior year. There is already some speculation that they could receive the Copeland award, given each year to the team ranked first by the NDT.

               As Coach Jim Hanson likes to emphasize, Thad and Charles' success reflects not just their many hours of hard work but the work of the entire Whitman team.  Next year Thad and Charles will be joined by at least seven successful current high school policy students and, of course, our returning students. Students from this year include Brian Ward, Emily Marr, Mike Winnike, David Guidry, Scott Thompson, Joey Bennett, Chris McCool, Emily Cordo, Lauren Ritter, Scott Daniel, Sean Beaver, and Beth Schueler. They regularly were the top teams at Northwest tournaments. With most of this group returning, this is going to be one unstoppable team.


Whitman sends three students to the NIET

               Katie Imbeau acted like a dog.  Nicholas Thomas spoke about the myth of Lucrecia.  Samuel Spiegel carried around seven different world maps.  While such activities may cause

some to question their sanity it was all part of Whitman's triumphant return to the National Individual Events Tournament at Bradley University.  This is part of a dramatic resurgence of individual events on the team.

               Katie and Sam performed their duo, Sylvia, in which Katie plays both a dog and the wife of Greg (played by Sam).  The character of Greg has trouble choosing between his commitment to his wife and his love for man's best friend.  In addition to the duo, Katie qualified in Dramatic Interpretation.  Sam Spiegel became known in the Northwest as the guy with the "map speech" for his interesting communication analysis on the most commonly used map, the Mercador projection.  Using Foucault, Sam argued that the map privileges the North, more wealthy nations and de-emphasizes Southern, poorer nations.   Nicholas Thomas, one of Whitman's most successful speakers, qualified in both impromptu and extemporaneous speaking and in communication analysis.  Nicholas' very unique CA used Foucault to analyze an ancient myth.

               These three very successful speakers and interpers are just part of a new trend of individual events success.  Mario Cava won some fourteen awards. New student Zahava Wilstein added several in ADS. Chandra Carlisle, Darrell Miller, and Dani Boucher were award winners as well. This year Whitman did the best

The 2001-2002 team: Front row: Chandra, Carrie, Katie, Natalie, Beth; Second row: Lauren, Emily C, Bridget, Dani; Back Row: Sam, Chris M, Zahava, Brian W, Chris G, Scott, Brian S, David, Thad, Keola, Mike, and Emily M.

Scott Thompson, holding his team stocking, is now both a debater and ASWC president!

it has done in more than nine years in the number of individual events sweepstakes points at regional tournaments.  Next year Jim is starting a new recruiting effort to encourage theater students to get more involved on the forensics team.  If you have any ideas for great interps or platform speeches please let us know since we are always looking for new ideas.


Another Debater wins the ASWC Presidency

               In the last issue of the forensics team newsletter we reported that Scott Thompson won the post of ASWC Secretary.  Now Scott has a new position in ASWC.  In the footsteps of such recent great debaters as Jackie Nguyen, Jason Smith and Keola Whittaker, Scott Thompson has been elected ASWC President.  A very involved student, Scott is also a member of Theater Sports, a campus improv group, and plays for the Whitman Jazz Band.  Scott again promises to remain humble and a committed member of the debate team.




This year’s coaching staff: Keola, Julie, Jim, Brian.


Members of the policy debate portion of the squad: Front row: Joey, Mike, Emily C, Lauren; Back row: Brian W, Thad, Emily M, Brian S, Jim, and Scott T.


Many of the participants on the Parli-IE portion of the squad: Front row: Julie and Chandra; Second Row: Chris G, Keola, Natalie, Carrie; Back row: Dani, Bridget, Sam, Katie, and Zahava.


Jim: “What a year. Ups, downs, middles. I loved almost every minute of it! Almost.” J





At this year’s senior and staff dinner we said goodbye to four people that will definitely be missed.  We asked them these questions about debate and their future plans.

1. What is your favorite memory with the debate team?

2. What was your best debate victory?

3. Who taught you the most about debate?

4. What are your plans for next year?


1. My favorite memory is when Jessica and Adam won CEDA Nationals my first year at Whitman.  The whole team, as well as alumni and friends from around the country, worked together to help them.  It was also wonderful seeing them read the Breast Cancer affirmative that round, which Becky had helped research.  The whole event truly made the team cooperate and collaborate in a unique and wonderful way.

2. Beating Kansas EM round 8 of CEDA nats my sophomore year with Thad.  That meant we were 7-1 and, I believe, 7th seed out of a field of hundreds.

3. I don't know.

4. Law school.

NICHOLAS THOMAS (aka Oscar the Grouch)

1. Generally being mean to people.  Slamming my clipboard on the table and swearing in response to a question in one debate.

2. Either winning CRT in front of a Point Loma critic at camp or beating Julie Pitt to close out the Whitman tournament in semis.

3. Besides myself?  Jessica Clarke.

4. Grad school at Long Beach St., coaching debate, sending hate mail to Jim. J


1. You're making me pick ONE?  I'd say the dinner after the Utah tournament last year when Jim invented the term "bleedies."

2. Best victory was probably when Gabe and I beat Alaska at the Great Alaska Speakout.  Not only were we on the Gov, we beat them in front of an Alaska audience on an Alaska topic: ANWR.

3. Geof Brodak: "Shut up. This is offense!"

4. Next year, I will be teaching English in a French secondary school. The school district I'll be in, Creteil, is just east of Paris.


1. Dancing and singing “Little Kyle” jokes at the Pt. Loma tournament.

2. The best victory I had as a coach was having a team in finals in both junior and senior division parliamentary debate at the Lewis and Clark tournament.

3. Jim Hanson taught me the most about debate and deep fried fish.

4. I plan to find the meaning of my existence.


NPTE Success

               This year the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence was one of the best national tournaments all season.  Over thirty of the nation’s top teams attended the tournament at Regis University including our very own “Testosterone Twins,” Nicholas Thomas and Chris Gorman.   Chris and Nicholas managed not only to scare a few judges but a few of their opponents as well.  After beating top ranked teams in preliminary rounds including Long Beach, the team that went on to win the tournament, Chris and Nicholas finished tenth overall. 


               Coach Jim Hanson was rarely available before rounds for coaching advice because he was both the tournament director and chairperson of the NPTE.  Thanks to his fine leadership the tournament went smoothly and, of course, everyone was fed quite well.  On the final night of competition tournament participants were treated to a catered meal from Chili’s.  In typical Jim Hanson form, he ordered far too much food and had enough leftovers to feed the students of an entire dorm at Regis.  Next year the NPTE will likely be held at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.  The students of Lewis and Clark are looking forward to the good leftovers. 


Staff: Jim Hanson, Director of Forensics, Brian Simmonds, Assistant Policy Coach; Keola Whittaker, Assistant Parliamentary and I.E. Coach; Julie Caton (Miller), Student Assistant and Intramural Debate Manager; Bob Withycombe, Chair, Rhetoric and Film Studies; and Thomas Cronin, President, Whitman College.


44 Competitors, 2001-2002: Aaron Wood, Andy Monahan, Beth Schueler, Bridget Kustin, Brian Ward, Carrie Hostetler, Chandra Carlisle, Charles Olney, Charlie Gardner, Chris Gorman, Chris McCool, Chris McManus, Dani Boucher, Darrell Miller, David Guidry, Dean Chuang, Emily Cordo, Emily Marr, Erika Dalrymple, Hannah Elisha, Gabe McGuire, Jackie Baxter, Jackie Jenkins, Joey Bennett, John Poor, Katie Imbeau, Lauren Ritter, Linh Ngo, Mario Cava, Marta Olson, Michael Winnike, Natalie Havlina, Nicholas Thomas, Nick Zifcak, Nicole Reynaud, Rachel Younkin, Sam Spiegel, Samantha Howell, Sean Beaver, Scott Daniel, Scott Thompson, Thad Blank, Todd Borden, Zahava Wilstein.




The team has a blast at the Holiday party opening up their team stockings. Filled with such exotic and expensive toys as scissors, tape, and pens, the stockings were cherised by all debaters!

Jim in a house of his own?

Most professors at Whitman, after two or three years of working at the college, purchase their own home.  Taking that big step is part of the process of getting older and makes financial sense.  It would be foolish to rent an apartment for more than five years when you can afford to purchase a home.  Why then has our own coach, Jim Hanson, not joined the ranks of Walla Walla home owners?  This is a question we have been unable to answer.  It is not as though Jim has not looked at available homes.  For at least the past three years, Jim has bothered many a realtor for information on homes near Whitman College.  It’s quite amazing that Dr. Hanson can manage to coach one of the nation's top forensic teams, has a Ph.D., a good, long-term contract with Whitman College but has not purchased a house.   WAIT! News flash: Jim is about to have a home built as this newsletter goes to print! The house will be on the east end of town near a creek. We should have more information in the next newsletter!


Sam Spiegel did very well in Communication Analysis and in Duo Interpretation with Katie Imbeau. As you can see from his ‘irked’ look, he did not do so well waking up in the morning.


Ever wonder how Jim has stayed at Whitman for ten years now? So, do we! That is especially so after President Cronin took this picture of Jim asleep on the job! Jim was taking a nap during preparation for the college tournament we host.


Bob Withycombe is pleased with this year’s establishment of a Rhetoric and Film Studies major.


Travel, Travel, Travel

               This summer several of our Whitman debate family are leaving for trips abroad.  Charles Olney and Emily Cordo, best friends and roommates, are putting their friendship to the test by taking a long tour of Europe together, going from London to Italy with several stops in-between.  Charles will be seeing family members and friends in Europe.  Emily wants to visit many places she has never been to before which is quite difficult as she has traveled quite a bit but her main goal is to spend more time with her close friend, Charles.  Parli/IE coach Keola Whittaker will also be touring Europe but will take a very different trip, splitting his time between the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe.  So far he is making "economic travel" a sport, finding new and interesting ways to save money at each stop.  His newest idea: skipping a meal every other day.  Senior Natalie Havlina will be living abroad next year as part of a program to teach English in France.  She is a bit worried about living in a foreign country but sees it as a chance for adventure.  We wish all of them well on their travels.


Senior-Staff Dinner and End of the Year Party

               Catered by Bon Apetit, members of the team gathered in the George Ball room at the brand new Reid Campus Center. Seniors Emily Cordo, Nicholas Thomas, Natalie Havlina, and Brian Simmonds (a senior who coached this year) were recognized for their four years of commitment, dedication and contributions to the team. Keola Whittaker, Brian Simmonds, Julie Caton, and Bob Withycombe were thanked by Jim for their many, many hours of work. Jim ate up his strawberries as Bob congratulated him and the team on their efforts this year.

               A few hours later, the team gathered at Bob’s home this year for the end of the year party.  Jim, of course, made sure everyone was well fed with delicious deserts including something of his own creation, a low-carb cheesecake (Jim’s on a new diet that, of course, lets him eat all he wants).  This year’s party was a time for the coaching staff and older members of the team to tell old war stories.  Some of the tales of the team included an infamous Regis tournament, how Jim managed to misplace keys at the Willamette tournament his first year coaching at Whitman, and Keola’s unfortunate emergency room visit after taking another team member’s medication.  Not all of the stories were about regrettable incidences, however.  Many team members recalled their fondest moments on the team and how much everyone will miss our departing seniors.  


Salzman-Medica Fund continues its generous support

               The Salzman-Medica Fund has donated another $250,000 to the team.  This contribution will be used to enhance our assistant coach salaries and for student scholarships. Jim noted: “The Salzman-Medica fund has made it possible for us to provide our assistants with good salaries and with the recent contribution, we will probably be able to hire an additional assistant in the near future. This is something we need because the team just seems to get bigger and bigger. Part of that is the additional students we are attracting with the Salzman-Medica scholarships. Those scholarships provide a fantastic recruiting tool and a great way to reward and support the finest speakers and debaters.”  We are very grateful to Megan Salzman Medica and John Medica. Thank you!


Intramural debate

               The intramural debates continue to be a success. The championship tournament asked whether we should drill for oil in ANWR. Martin Ishikawa won the inexperienced division and Todd Borden did the same in the experienced division. Additional places in inexperienced division were Charlie Gardner, second, and Piper Foster and Ethan Place tied for third. In experienced, Beth Pearson placed second and Samantha Howell placed third. All won cash prizes and a nice dinner catered by Bon Apetit.





Withycombe and Walker Fund Contributions

Thank you for contributing to the forensic team! Generous donors December 1, 2001 through May 10, 2002 include: Lisa A. Beyl, Jessica A. Clarke, Beverly and Robert J. Hanson, John R. Miller, AT&T Foundation with Kelly and Mathew L. Cleman, Sean R. Harris, Drummond Kahn and Daphne Teals, Jennifer Becker & Andrew Backlund, Jim Hanson, Morgan Doyle and Matthew Johnson, Jared Phillips and Loan Lam, Bob Withycombe, and the Salzman-Medica Foundation If we missed you, please tell us; we appreciate your support!

Send contributions to the Walker Fund or the Withycombe Fund to:

            Annual Fund Office

            Whitman College

            Walla Walla WA 99362

A picture of the team from 1974-1975. This and other pictures are featured on the team’s history web pages.

Checks should be made out to Whitman College with a note that says to place the contribution into the Walker or Withycombe Fund.


History web pages get fresh updates

Jim is planning more additions to the history pages this summer especially for years prior to 1934. Check your years at http://www.whitman.edu/rhetoric/history/index.htm

E-mail additions and changes to Jim at hansonjb@whitman.edu


Emily M, Mike W, and Sam S.

Front row: Bridget, Zahava, Chandra

Back row: Keola, Dani, Jim, Sam S, Nicholas

Policy Awards

Beth Schueler and Emily Cordo, NW Scrimmage 5th, Lewis and Clark 5th, U. Oregon 1st,, Fullerton, 17th, Whitman, 1st, NW CEDA Champs, 5th, NDT Qualifier, CEDA Nationals, 33rd

Brian Ward and David Guidry, Whitman, 1st, NW CEDA Champs, 3rd, CEDA Nationals, 33rd

Brian Ward and Mike Winnike, NW Scrimmage, 9th; Lewis and Clark, 3rd, Oregon, 1st

Charles Olney and Joey Bennett, Whitman, 1st

Charles Olney and Thad Blank, NW Scrimmage 1st, U. Kentucky, 5th, Lewis and Clark 1st, U. Oregon 1st, Wake Forest, 5th , U.S.C., 5th, Fullerton, 9th, West Georgia, 9th, Northwestern, 2nd, NW CEDA Champs, 1st, NDT, 5th, CEDA Nationals, 3rd

Chris McCool and John Poor, U. Oregon 5th

Chris McCool and Scott Thompson, Whitman, 1st, Jr.

David Guidry and Joey Bennett, NW Scrimmage 9th, Lewis and Clark 9th, Oregon 1st

Emily Marr and Lauren Ritter, WWU, 5th, Whitman, 5th

Emily Marr and Mike Winnike, CEDA Nationals, 33rd

Emily Marr and Scott Daniel, U. Oregon 1st

Joey Bennett and Scott Thompson, U.S.C. 1st,, Jr.

Sean Beaver and Scott Thompson, Lewis and Clark 1st,, Jr.

Thad Blank and Mike Winnike, Whitman, 1st

Parli Awards

Bridget Kustin and Natalie Havlina, Lewis and Clark 9th

Bridget Kustin and Natalie Havlina, Point Loma RR Qualifier, Hatfields, 9th

Chandra Carlisle and Nicholas Thomas, U. Oregon 9th

Chandra Carlisle and Zahava Wilstein, Utah, 9th Whitman, 5th, Jr.

Chris Gorman and Mario Cava, U. Oregon 5th, Point Loma, 17th

Chris Gorman and Nicholas Thomas, Whitman, 5th, NPTE, 10th, NPDA Nationals, 17th

Dani Boucher and Chandra Carlisle, Hatfields, 5th

Dani Boucher and Samantha Howell, Lewis and Clark 1st, U. Oregon 1st

Darrell Miller and Sam Spiegel, Lewis and Clark 5th, U. Oregon 9th, Northridge, 9th

Dean Chuang and Martin Ishikawa, Whitman, 3rd, Nov.

Gabe McGuire and Natalie Havlina, Alaska Speakout, 1st

Gabe McGuire and Todd Borden, Lewis and Clark 2nd, Northridge, 9th

Nicholas Thomas and Sam Spiegel, Utah, 9th

Individual Events Awards

Andy Monahan Nov. Impromptu, 4th, Lewis and Clark

Bridget Kustin Jr. Impromptu, 4th, Lewis and Clark; Semis, CSU-Northridge; Sr. Informative, 1st, Lewis and Clark, 4th, Oregon, Semis, Point Loma, 4th, Dean McSloy, 5th, Whitman; Sr. Impromptu, Semis, Point Loma

Chandra Carlisle, Semis, Jr. Impromptu, Finalist, Dramatic, Utah, 1st, Jr. Ext. LD, Whitman

Charles Olney Nov. Impromptu, 4th, U. Oregon

Chris Gorman Jr. Extemp, 6th and Jr. Impromptu 2nd, U. Oregon, Sr. Impromptu, Semis, Utah; Sr. NFA LD, 3rd, Whitman

Dani Boucher Jr. Dramatic, 3rd, U. Oregon; Finalist, Utah; Sr. Dramatic, Finals, WWU

Darrell Miller Sr. ADS, 2nd, and Jr. Prose, 4th, Lewis and Clark; Sr. ADS, 1st, Jr. Dramatic, 1st, Jr. Prose, 2nd, U. Oregon; Sr. ADS, 4th, CSU-Northridge

Emily Marr, 3rd, Jr. Impromptu, Whitman

Gabe McGuire Sr. Impromptu, 5th, Lewis and Clark

Joey Bennett, 3rd, Jr. NFA LD, Whitman

Katie Imbeau and Sam Spiegel, Sr. Dramatic: 2nd, Lewis and Clark; 6th, 1st, WWU, Dean McSloy; 3rd, Whitman, NIET Qualified; Sr. Prose, 1st, WWU

Katie Imbeau Sr. Dramatic: 3rd, Lewis and Clark; 2nd, Utah, 1st, WWU, 2nd, Dean McSloy; 2nd, Whitman; NIET Qualified

Mario Cava Sr. ADS, 6th, Lewis and Clark; 4th, Oregon, 5th, Utah; 4th Dean McSloy; Jr. Impromptu, 5th, Oregon; Sr. Impromptu 4th, Utah; 3rd, Dean McSloy; 5th, Whitman College; Jr. Poetry, 2nd; U. Oregon; Sr. Poetry, 5th, Utah; 2nd, Dean McSloy; Mario Cava and Dani Boucher, Sr. Duo, 6th, Utah

Michael Winnike Nov. Impromptu, 1st, U. Oregon, Whitman

Natalie Havlina Jr. Extemp, 3rd, Lewis and Clark, Whitman; Sr. Extemp, 6th, Whitman; Jr. POI, 2nd, Whitman

Nicholas Thomas Sr. Extemp, 6th, Lewis and Clark; 1st, Oregon; 3rd, CSU-Northridge; 5th, Utah; 3rd, Dean McSloy, NIET Qualified; Sr. Forensic Criticism, 5th, U. Oregon; Sr. Impromptu, Semis, CSU-Northridge; 2nd, Utah; 3rd, Whitman; 2nd, Portland State; NIET Qualified; Sr. CA, 2nd, CSU-Northridge; 2nd, Utah; 1st, Portland State; NIET Qualified

Sam Spiegel Sr. CA, 3rd Lewis and Clark; 1st, U. Oregon; 1st, CSU-Northridge; 3rd, Utah; 2nd, Whitman

Scott Thompson, 3rd, Jr. Extemp-LD, Whitman

Sean Beaver Nov. Impromptu, 3rd, U. Oregon

Thad Blank, 2nd, Sr. Extemp-LD, Whitman

Todd Borden Jr. Impromptu, 2nd, U. Oregon

Zahava Wilstein Sr. ADS, 2nd, U. Oregon; 6th, Utah; 1st, WWU; Sr. Prose, 5th, Utah


Tyler (“team friend”), Charles, Thad, Emily C, and barely visible Brian S

Brian Simmonds talking with Jim (Jim took the picture)